THE BLOG

Congress Must Call Bush's Bluff and Enforce All Subpoenas

11/30/2007 12:42 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If President George W. Bush continues to duck Congressional subpoenas against his current and former staff members he should be impeached.

The Senate Judiciary Committee must stand by enforcing the subpoenas of Bush's subordinates Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, Susan Taylor, and Scott Jennings. The President of the United States has no power to nullify subpoenas from Congress - Period. As always Bush has based his stand on an extremely expansive interpretation of "executive privilege." Congress has already taken impeachment "off the table" therefore capitulating to Bush on his bogus "executive privilege" pronouncement could sound the death knell for the Legislative Branch's ability to "check" the Executive. If Bush can cast such a wide legal net around his current and former aides protecting them against any Congressional scrutiny then he has succeeded in essentially dissolving the parliament in this country. We will be living in an Executive Branch dictatorship similar in substance and tone to that of Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf.

If President Bill Clinton had treated the Senate like this under Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott, (who is leaving the Senate to cash in as a over-paid "lobbyist"), the Republicans would be shrieking: "Abuse of Power! Abuse of Power!" Why does Bush always seem to get away this stuff?

Not even the out-of-control authoritarian young law "professor," John Yoo, (whose face always seems to darken my television monitor), can argue that the political firing of U.S. Attorneys had anything do to with "national security" or the President's role as "Commander-in-Chief." (Yoo will probably figure out some way to defend the President's power to duck subpoenas in a purely domestic political dispute with Congress - stay tuned.)

The Senate Judiciary Committee should have held up the Michael Mukasey appointment as Attorney General until Bush complied with the committee's subpoena. Mukasey was a delicious bargaining chip handed to the Congress on a platter. But alas, Senators Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer put the kibosh on that one by dividing the committee and voting in favor of confirming the waterboarder for reasons only known to them.

Now Bush is claiming the nation's military will fall apart unless Congress capitulates to his latest demand for another $200 billion for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Congress already appropriated $459 billion to the Pentagon, if it can't make do on that obscenely large chunk of the discretionary budget then there must be a problem with the way that bureaucracy is being managed. Government waste and inefficiency even with all of those private contractors? Surely, that can't be the case in a "fiscally conservative" Republican administration.

It's time for everyone to read Noami Wolf's new book, The End of America, and come to terms with the systematic unraveling of our democracy. We don't need any more capitulations from the Democrats in Congress to this would-be dictator. The time is now to call Bush on his brinkmanship and let the chips fall where the may!